THERE are Press Statements and Press Statements. But when the the Malay Rulers issued their statement yesterday, it serves as a warning that we are, as the move title suggests, within sight of a 'clear and present danger.'
The statement was issued in two languages - Malay and English. When statements are issued in these two languages, it can only have one intention - to make sure everyone understands it, and it leaves no room for misinterpretation or ambiguity.
Issuing it in both languages would also enable everyone to understand the tone with which the statement was issued.
The newspapers and various news portals have used the statements in full, whether instructed, advised or otherwise. Regardless of one's position and/or platform/affiliation, the statement should serve as a reminder to all that enough is enough, and that all the public debate and outcry on matters already enshrined in the Constitution, some of which are very emotional and unbridled, could have dire consequences for the country.
Extracts from the statement: "The Conference of Rulers also calls on the Malays to be united to safeguard the privileges, position, eminence, and greatness of the Malay Rulers, safeguard Islam, Malay as the national language, and the genuine interests of the other communities in Malaysia as enshrined in the Constitution.
"It has to be emphasised that this agenda is more important and foremost than than political or factional interests.
"Non-Malays should not harbour any apprehension or worry over their genuine rights because these rights are guaranteed under the Federal Constitution and provisions of the state constitutions of Malaysia contained in Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.
In Malay, the statement said: "Raja-Raja Melayu juga membuat seruan kepada orang Melayu supaya bersatu-padu untuk mempertahankan kedudukan, kemuliaan dan kebesaran Raja-Raja Melayu, melindungi agama Islam, bahasa Melayu sebagai bahasa kebangsaan, dan kepentingan sah kaum-kaum lain di Malaysia seperti yang termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Penekanan juga perlu dibuat bahawa agenda ini adalah lebih penting dan utama dari kepentingan politik dan kelompok.
"Kaum bukan Melayu tidak perlu merasa khuatir dan bimbang tentang hak-hak sah mereka kerana hak-hak tersebut telah dijamin mengikut Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan peruntukan-peruntukan yang terkandung dalam Undang-Undang Tubuh Negeri-negeri di Malaysia yang termaktub dalam perkara 153 Perlembagaan Persekutuan."
It is best that everyone studies the Rulers statement word for word. I believe they speak after much thought and deliberations. I wouldn't want to speculate too much on the reasons for them to issue the statement, but events and statements made in recent months must have triggered them to make known their collective views on matters of deep national interests.
The statement's last paragraph said: "It is hoped that with this emphasis, all confusion among the people regarding these matters can be contained and an atmosphere of peace and harmony and mutual respect can continue to exist among the people for the maintenance of order in the country."
In Malay, it said: "Adalah diharapkan dengan penegasan tersebut, segala kekeliruan berhubung dengan perkara ini dikalangan rakyat jelata dapat dibendung dan suatu suasana yang harmoni, aman dan sikap saling hormat menghormati dikalangan rakyat dapat terus diwujudkan demi menjaga ketenteraman negara."